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  'Hunger' latest weapon for Islamic State: Food aid finally arrives in Iraq

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مُساهمةموضوع: 'Hunger' latest weapon for Islamic State: Food aid finally arrives in Iraq   الجمعة 14 نوفمبر 2014, 1:02 am

Nov. 13, 2014
 
اقتباس :
 
'Hunger' latest weapon for Islamic State: Food aid finally arrives in Iraq
 
Villagers harvest wheat in a field in Albu Efan, southwest of Falluja, 30 miles west of Baghdad.
اقتباس :
ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation): The seeds and fertilizer will be distributed to 20,000 farmers in the northern provinces of Ninevah, Dohuk, Arbil, and Diyala to support them during current winter planting season, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said, while 7,500 herders will benefit from the animal feed.

As estimated 2.8 million Iraqis are currently in need of food assistance, the FAO said, and conditions could worsen as families lose farm animals or equipment in fighting or are forced to flee and offload livestock for low prices.

With its advance this year across a swathe of northern Iraq, Islamic State controls a large chunk of the country's wheat supplies.

The United Nations estimates land under IS control accounts for as much as 40 percent of Iraq's annual production of wheat, one of the country's most important food staples alongside barley and rice.

"The area that the Islamic State controls to a great extent feeds other parts of Iraq. We have to assume that connection is broken," Tom Keatinge, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think-tank, said in an interview.

"Areas which previously relied on the wheat basket in northern Iraq will require food from other sources."

The food relief effort is facing a shortfall of $38.5 million if Iraq is to prevent a "further collapse of agriculture", said Fadel El Zubi, the FAO's Iraq representative.

Islamic State has captured large areas of Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic caliphate that erases borders between the two. Its fighters have killed or driven away Shi'ite Muslims, Christians and other communities who do not share their ultra-radical brand of Sunni Islam.

Nearly all of Iraq's water, including its two great rivers the Tigris and Euphrates, flows through areas under IS control, the FAO said, meaning the militant group can divert water away from communities it is fighting.

As IS fighters swept through Iraq's north in June, they seized control of silos and grain stockpiles. The offensive coincided with the wheat and barley harvests and the delivery of crops to government silos and private traders.
 
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'Hunger' latest weapon for Islamic State: Food aid finally arrives in Iraq
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